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Indiana legislator convicted of drunken driving publicly acknowledges he used ‘horrible’ judgment

Jul 5, 2023, 2:30 PM

FILE - Indiana Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, listens during the start of the General Assembly session ...

FILE - Indiana Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, listens during the start of the General Assembly session at the Statehouse, Jan. 3, 2018, in Indianapolis. The Indiana legislator convicted of drunken driving in June is acknowledging his mistakes in a Facebook post. Lucas posted remarks Wednesday, July 5, 2023 in which he acknowledges his “recent mistakes," WISH-TV reported. He said he accepts responsibility and he’s getting professional help. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

SEYMOUR, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana legislator convicted of drunken driving publicly acknowledged on Wednesday that he used “horrible” judgment.

In a Facebook post, Republican state Rep. Jim Lucas of Seymour said he accepts responsibility and is getting professional help.

Police arrested Lucas on May 31 after he crashed his pickup truck through an interstate guardrail a few miles north of Seymour and drove away. Officers found the badly damaged truck behind a Seymour carpet store about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from the crash site and discovered Lucas walking nearby.

Lucas smelled of alcohol, failed a field sobriety exam and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.097% on a portable breath test device more than an hour after the crash, according to a state trooper’s affidavit. The state’s legal limit to drive is 0.08%.

In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty on June 12 to misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He will face no jail time as long as he completes at least 180 days of probation. His legislative colleagues did not discipline him.

“I recently made mistakes and exercised horrible judgement,” Lucas wrote Wednesday, adding later in the post: “I’ve learned and will continue to learn every day for the rest of my life from these mistakes. … I am and will be a much better person because of this.”

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Indiana legislator convicted of drunken driving publicly acknowledges he used ‘horrible’ judgment